The 21-year-old Tunisian who’s accused of utilizing a kitchen knife to kill three folks in a church in Good spoke to his household 12 hours earlier than the assault, giving no indication he was considering violence.
Brahim Aouissaoui grew up amongst eight sisters and two brothers in a modest residence on a potholed highway in Thina, a working-class neighbourhood in an industrial zone near Sfax, a significant port on Tunisia’s japanese coast.
Sfax is 80 miles (130km) from the small Italian island of Lampedusa and a key level of departure for Tunisians making an attempt the crossing to Europe.
Aouissaoui deserted his training whereas at highschool and labored as a bicycle mechanic earlier than launching a roadside enterprise promoting small portions of petrol to motorists, members of the family mentioned.
Authorities mentioned Aouissaoui’s often violent behaviour and drug use had introduced him to the eye of native police.
“He drank alcohol and used medicine. I instructed him, ‘We don’t have sufficient and also you, you waste cash?’” Gamra Issawi, Aouissaoui’s mom, mentioned.
She mentioned her son responded: “If God wills it, He’ll direct me to the proper path, that’s my enterprise.”
During the last two years, kin famous a change in Aouissaoui’s behaviour. He started praying repeatedly, staying at residence and shunning the corporate of former associates. However he “by no means confirmed extremism”, mentioned Yassin, an older brother. “He revered all different folks and accepted their variations even since he was a baby.”
Aouissaoui had begun to consider leaving Sfax and Tunisia, and made not less than one abortive try to cross the Mediterranean to succeed in Italy.
He didn’t warn his household that he was going to strive a second time. “He didn’t inform … and we had been shocked when he instructed us he had reached Italy,” Yassin mentioned.
In response to prosecutors in Tunisia and Sicily, Aouissaoui disappeared on 14 September and arrived on the island of Lampedusa on 20 September on a small fishing boat with 20 different younger male Tunisians.
There have been beneficial sea situations that day and a complete of 26 boats arrived on Lampedusa over 24 hours, every carrying between 10 and 20 folks. Aouissaoui was questioned by police upon arrival who famous no indication of misery or trigger for alarm, in response to sources cited by Repubblica.
Italian officers instructed native media Aouissaoui had by no means been on the Tunisian police’s watch listing and was not on the radar of intelligence organisations.
Tunisian officers confirmed Aouissaoui was not listed by their safety companies, and French investigators mentioned he was unknown there.
Italian investigators confirmed to the Guardian that on 23 September Aouissaoui was on deck 5 of the Covid-19 quarantine ship Rhapsody, with 804 others.
The results of his swab check was unfavourable, and on 9 October the Rhapsody docked on the Adriatic port of Bari in Italy, the place Aouissaoui was photographed and registered by the authorities. Italian prosecutors additionally confirmed that Aouissaoui had no papers with him at the moment.
The excessive variety of arrivals from Tunisia means repatriation procedures from Italy are sometimes delayed. As an alternative, Tunisians are given a written order requiring them to go away Italy inside seven days.
About 50 per week are transferred to a guarded migrant centre earlier than being escorted again to Tunisia by aircraft however the remaining are launched, mentioned Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, a professor of asylum regulation on the College of Palermo.
Aouissaoui obtained the order to go away Italy however his actions weren’t monitored. He might have travelled illegally by way of Ventimiglia on the French border.
The Tunisian known as his household at about 8pm on Wednesday to inform them he was in France. “He mentioned he had determined to go to France as a result of there have been higher work prospects and there have been too many individuals [seeking employment] in Italy,” his brother mentioned.
Aouissaoui’s sister, Afef, mentioned he had sought out Notre-Dame church in Good when in search of a spot to sleep, and instructed her he deliberate to relaxation in a constructing reverse. He had proven no signal that he was planning any type of assault, she mentioned, however 12 hours later allegedly entered the church and killed two ladies and a person with a knife.
Aouissaoui, who was carrying two telephones and a Qur’an along with the weapon, was shot by police. He’s in a essential situation and below heavy guard in hospital.
French police have arrested a 47-year-old man who was in touch with Aouissaoui on Wednesday night, although officers mentioned there was no proof of any complicity.
Tunisians have been concerned in eight plots in France between 2014 and mid 2019, in addition to 4 elsewhere in Europe, in response to Aaron Zelin, the creator of a current ebook on extremism within the nation.
A significant assault in Good was additionally carried out by a Tunisian man who had emigrated to France in 2005 earlier than driving a truck right into a Bastille Day crowd in 2016, killing 86 folks.
Although the 2011 revolution introduced Tunisia democracy and freedom of expression, it didn’t translate into an enchancment in dwelling requirements or financial alternative, and rising numbers of younger folks have sought to to migrate.
In September, Italy mentioned the variety of migrants arriving over the previous yr in boats throughout the Mediterranean had risen by half.